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Galaxy S21 will fix the worst thing about the Galaxy S20

Published Jan 7th, 2021 3:00PM EST
Galaxy S21 Price
Image: LetsGoDigital

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  • The Galaxy S21 will fix the worst thing about the Galaxy S20, a new report from Korea says.
  • All three Galaxy S21 phones will be cheaper than their predecessors, especially the Galaxy S21, which is at the forefront of Samsung’s strategy to counter the iPhone 12 and take advantage of Huawei’s prolonged absence.
  • The Galaxy S21’s release date is January 29th, the same report says.

When Samsung launched the Galaxy S20 in mid-February 2020, the worst rumor came true. The base Galaxy S20 model would cost $999 in the US, at a time when the base $699 iPhone 11 was selling like hotcakes. The coronavirus then started a pandemic, and all of these factors hurt Samsung’s Galaxy S20.

It mattered little that the S20 price was slashed after a month or that Samsung introduced more affordable payment and upgrade options. And the cheaper Galaxy S20 FE arrived too late in the cycle. The iPhone 11 dominated smartphone sales last year despite the pandemic. The $829 iPhone 12 then arrived, and some models were sold out for weeks — the iPhone 12 entry price is also much more palatable than the Galaxy S20’s. The Note 20 was just as expensive as the S20 at launch. Christmas smartphone sales showed how badly Samsung miscalculated.

Rumors said Samsung would rethink its pricing strategy for the S21, with a leak showing purported prices for the Galaxy S21 phones in Europe. Samsung wants to compete better against the iPhone 12 and take advantage of Huawei’s continued absence from the mobile landscape. A new report from Korea makes the same claims, revealing the pricing structure for Samsung’s home country that further proves Samsung has learned its lesson.

The base Galaxy S21 model will cost 999,000 won ($912) in Korea, a price unseen for a Galaxy S model since the Galaxy S9. That’s 200,000 won ($183) cheaper than the most affordable Galaxy S20.

The Galaxy S21+ and Galaxy S21 Ultra will be priced at 1.19 million won ($1,087), and 1.45 million won ($1,324), respectively — their predecessors cost 1.353 million won ($1,235) and 1.595 million won ($1,456). The S21 Ultra with 512GB of RAM will cost over 1.6 million won ($1,461), according to ETNews.

Those aren’t going to be the US prices for the S21 series. The Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra were priced at $999, $1,199, and $1,399.99 in the US. If the ETNews prices are accurate, US customers might be in for savings of at least $100 on each of the S21 models, possibly more on the entry-level S21 version.

Samsung intends to make it easier for buyers to purchase a Galaxy S21 and believes the cheaper model will be the most popular. According to the report, the Galaxy S21 will account for 60% of the total production volume for the series. ETNews also says that Samsung wants to contain the popularity of the iPhone 12 and benefit from America’s continued ban on Huawei.

The downside is that the S21 and S21+ will not offer the same high-end experience as the S21 Ultra. The cheaper phones have plastic backs and flat Full HD screens compared to the Ultra’s all-glass design, curved edges, and QHD+ display. The Ultra also has a much better camera sensor on the back. Furthermore, all phones come without chargers and earphones in the box.

Samsung has already confirmed that the Galaxy S21 Unpacked press conference will take place on January 14th. Preorders should kick off after the event, with the phone expected to launch in Korea on January 29th. That’s also the rumored launch date for other markets.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.